We get asked a lot of questions about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and home modifications. So we’ve created this guide to help you understand the process of getting home modifications through the NDIS.
What’s the first step?
Once you’ve joined the NDIS you will have a planning meeting with a planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC).
At your planning meeting you will discuss your life, the supports you need and your goals for the future. Your planner will use this information to develop your NDIS plan, which details the supports you will receive through the NDIS.
If your home needs modifications for you to live safely and independently at home make sure you mention this at your planning meeting.
Discuss home modifications during your NDIS planning meeting
Be clear that home modifications need to be included in your plan.
The supports you receive through the NDIS relate back to the goals in your NDIS plan, so at least one of your NDIS goals will need to relate to the home modifications you need.
For example, an NDIS goal that relates to home modifications might be “I want to continue living safely and independently in my own home.”
Read our blog post here if you would like to learn more about preparing for your planning meeting.
Getting an assessment for home modifications
If the NDIA approves the inclusion of home modifications in your plan, this will include funding for an in-home assessment to help you confirm what modifications are needed. This assessment needs to be done by a qualified occupational therapist in consultation with a registered building professional (depending on the complexity of the modifications required).
The occupational therapist will visit you at home and talk with you about the modifications you need to live safely and as independently as possible at home. They will also assess your home to see what modifications are needed.
After meeting with you, the occupational therapist will create a report with their recommendations for what home modifications you need. They will then submit this report for the NDIA to approve.
It’s important that you get an experienced occupational therapist and registered building professional (depending on the complexity of the modifications required). Home modifications can be complex and the NDIA relies on the quality of the assessor’s advice to approve modifications, including recommended designs and the amount of funding required.
What home modifications will the NDIS fund?
Home modifications are different for each person and there are many different types of modifications that can be done to make a home more accessible.
Here are some examples of common home modifications:
- Installing ramps
- Bathroom modifications
- Doorway widening
- Kitchen modifications
The NDIA will only fund reasonable, necessary and compliant home modifications.
‘Reasonable and necessary funding’ generally focuses on the demonstrated need for modifications to access frequently used rooms in your home, such as your bedroom, living area, meal area and bathroom.
Generally, the NDIA will only fund home modifications:
- To your primary residence when you are unable to ‘reasonably’ access and use rooms with standard fittings due to your disability.
- When a suitably qualified occupational therapist has performed an assessment and recommended home modifications.
- When all possible alternatives, including assistive technology, have been considered. For example, bathroom modifications won’t be funded if equipment, such as a shower stool, could make the bathroom safe and accessible for you.
If the property is a rental property you have to get written agreement from the owner before any modifications take place.
How can The Tipping Foundation support you?
The Tipping Foundation can provide you with guidelines about what types of home modifications may suit you. Whether you are a current customer of ours or perhaps just doing some initial research, we are always happy to offer guidance about the NDIS and your needs. We can also help you access a qualified occupational therapist that can do your home assessment.